Bernardston, Mass.


Maine Central GP9 52 at night
Maine Central no 52 works south, leads a train from Bellows Falls

Bernardston, Mass.

Oct 19, 2015

I've been eying the four-arch bridge at Bernardston, Mass. for some time. It was built by the Connecticut River Railroad in 1846 on its way north from Springfield. The CRRR was leased by the Boston & Maine in the 1890s.

100 years later, the Boston & Maine and Maine Central were both folded in to what is now the Pan Am Railways. Recently, Pan Am painted up two of their older locomotives in classic B&M and Maine Central paint schemes to promote the railroads heritage.

I heard that the Maine Central locomotive would lead a train south over this bridge and being a "warm" night by the standards of this winter (hovering around zero, with two feet of snow on the ground), I drove over to get a shot.... Too bad, I thought, that the B&M locomotive wouldn't be leading this train over these old B&M tracks.

Over the radio, I heard a crew readying a train lead by the B&M unit down in the big yard in East Deerfield. Thirty minutes later, it rolled over the bridge! ... the radio news kept getting better... the Maine Central locomotive was still planned to come by on its way south. The two trains met up in Brattleboro, VT and swapped crews. The same crew that took the B&M locomotive up brought the Maine Central locomotive back down two hours later.

The bridge is 110 years older than the locomotive and somehow this whole snowy scene unfolded in 2015.